The original "Ice Age" premiered nearly ten years ago and, those who believed scientific history and reason would have killed off the main characters by now, are sorely mistaken. The franchise is 20th Century Fox and animation studio Blue Sky's cash cow, er, mammoth and there's no sign of slowing down to glacial speeds. "Ice Age" has legs.
The fourth installment, "Continental Drift," is locked and loaded for July 13, 2012 and Deadline was on hand for a promotional presentation that revealed which cast members would be back and what fresh faces we can expect in the film.
Returning are Ray Romano, Dennis Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Sean William Scott and Josh Peck as the gang of mismatched, prehistoric mammals getting by during Earth's chilliest time period. Along with the originals, "Continental Drift" adds Jeremy Renner, comedienne Wanda Sykes, Aziz Ansari, Keke Palmer of the Nickelodeon show "True Jackson, VP" and Drake, hip-hop star, and more importantly, former co-star of "Degrassi: The Next Generation."
Also joining the cast is Jennifer Lopez, who Deadline mentions got the part of Shira, a snow leopard, as part of her deal for co-hosting "American Idol." I guess someone really wanted to be in the "Ice Age" movies.
Even more interesting than the cast of the new movie are the plans Fox has for the "Ice Age" franchise in the future. Along with "Continental Drift," fans can also expect "Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas" this holiday season (did they have Christmas back then?), multiple video games and an "Ice Age on Ice" tour. Finally, a Woolly Mammoth pulling off triple axels!
"Ice Age 4: Continental Drift" his theaters next summer, but they've already released a teaser trailer which you can check out below!